Tuskys and Naivas may rule the roost in Kenya’s retail market but Carrefour is hunting them down.

The French multinational is seeking to split the two supermarkets and achieve second spot in the country’s retail market by year’s end.

With the hypermarket now having been in Kenya for three years, its franchise holder Majid al Futtaim (MAF) told Reuters that by the start of 2020, Carrefour should be Kenya’s second largest retailer.

“We should certainly be number two by the end of 2019,” MAF Kenya head Franck Moreau told Reuters.

The French hypermarket however is one of the world’s largest and functions in around 37 countries globally. From its Boulogne Billancourt headquarters in France, the retailer can afford massive budgets and higher volumes.

In contrast, Tuskys operates in Kenya and Uganda, while Naivas has stores only in the country. In that sense therefore, while there is competition for retail rank in Kenya, Carrefour carries an upper advantage.

At the same time, Carrefour is an anchor tenant to the Two Rivers Mall which is East Africa’s largest mall. With Two Rivers serving neighbourhoods of Runda, Gigiri, Muthaiga as well as the fast growing Ruaka, it leverages on attracting a more premium type of customer compared to the budget shopper who walk into the stores of their rivals.

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No wonder Moreau said that since launching, Carrefour has grown far faster than expected, attracting a strong client base among the country’s expanding middle class.

Moreau added, “Our business is based on volumes rather than percentages.”

Carrefour has a a 22% market share in Kenya and its revenue jumped  71% in 2018 to Ksh14 billion.

It offers shoppers refunds if they can find cheaper equivalent items in stores run by Tuskys and Naivas.

Mainly based in malls, Carrefour has seven stores in Nairobi. Six of them — at the Hub Karen, Two Rivers Mall,  Thika Road Mall (TRM), The Junction and Sarit Centre — are in its usual hypermarket model. The Carrefour Market at the Village Market, is a supermarket.

Carrefour has been able to gain in-roads into the Kenyan market by taking over spaces that were originally occupied by Nakumatt and Uchumi, two struggling Kenyan retailers.

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